The history of the waistcoat goes back some way! In the 1660’s by the day’s standards, the almost ‘rock n roll’ King of the time, Charles 2nd used this garment as a way of distancing himself from the standard dress of the day and essentially standing out from the crowd!
Since then, the waistcoat has taken on many different guises and has seen flamboyant embroidered designs as well as plain colours and everything in between. All materials from silk to tweed waistcoats have been used depending on the occasion and look that is desired.
Weddings are the most common occasion to wear such a garment, but also British shooting days which of course brings the tweed jackets, waistcoats and trousers to the fore and this one single piece of clothing not only completes the look perfectly, but also enables you to really stand out from the norm, just as King Charles 2nd had intended all those centuries ago.
The royal connection doesn’t end there, as Edward 7th set the fashion trend of leaving the bottom button open, which spread across the land and is still in place to a certain degree today. Some slightly unkind people have blamed the trend on the King’s slightly portly nature of course!
It is a piece of clothing to be truly admired and celebrated though as during the last 400 years, the waistcoat has come from royal circles, through to the aristocracy and then during the Victorian era practically all men would not leave their houses without their waistcoat on.
Now days, it can be worn to elevate an outfit, or even to give a distinct feel to a smart casual outfit, but my personal favourite has to be that distinctive British country waistcoat look. No matter what our personal preferences are or which occasion we wear the garment to, there is no denying that the waistcoat elevates business suits, wedding suits or shoot day tweed outfits upwards to the ultra-smart! and I have been buying mine from Rydale Clothing for many years as I like a bit of British country class now & then. No matter what your style though, I’m sure we will see this item for the next 400 years, in what ever guise it may be, it’s here to stay.